The Way Theatre/Studio is a multi-functional arts hub based in Victoria Mill, Atherton

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  • Theatre and Studio Space

    SEATS 120/STANDING 300

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  • Bar and Coffee Area

    Great for Birthdays, Engagements etc..

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The Way Theatre is one of the biggest cultural events to happen in Atherton. ‘Stolen Thread’ Productions CIC brings The Way Theatre/Studio to arts and all community groups across the region. After securing the venue at Victoria Mill, Bolton Old Road, Atherton they have created a purpose-built Arts Space for Fringe Theatre/Music/Dance companies to come and show off their talents to the delight of Greater Manchester. The Way Theatre is conveniently situated 2 minutes’ walk from Atherton Train Station and has ample free parking. Stolen Thread Productions CIC are an active Theatre/Film productions company too and want to enrich the area and professionals alongside our general community with the best quality of art there is!


Stolen Thread Productions CIC is a new Leigh-based theatre production company aiming to bring as much love and passion around theatre/film/TV in the North-West as there is in London by promoting the arts all round in the region. It was originally formed from a local family run drama school A Will And A Way Ltd in which Will Travis teaches all ages acting classes. The company is named in remembrance of the original spinning jenny, invented by Leigh born Thomas Hayes. The idea was stolen by Arkwright who famously patented the spinning jenny, but later was successfully challenged by Hayes – hence the "Stolen Thread"!

Monopoleyes (written by Will Travis) was the first project Stolen Thread Productions CIC had produced working alongside professional theatres in Manchester back in December 2016 which was supported by Arts Council England. The entire development of the piece from a writing and directing perspective was new for Will considering his background is mainly acting. The producer Elise Williamson had also worked in acting and stage crew within A Will And A Way Ltd (Leigh) but had never produced before. Susan McArdle, also runs sister drama school Little Big Theatre Workshop (Urmston, South Manchester) and her background is mainly acting. Nick was originally a parent of one of the students and fell in love with the arts who continued to help us with the set on the first project.

As a grass roots company completing the project back in 2016 we found a huge niche in the market where people of our local town didn’t happen to have anywhere locally that they could showcase their work on a professional level working alongside other professionals. We have multiple spaces to potentially perform but nowhere that would be suitable for an actual professional production. After great lengthy discussions, we decided that this would be something the community would benefit from and as we aim to champion the arts and support all age groups in this professionally we wanted to show others within the industry how it is possible to bring this amazing world to our very own home.

Meet the Team

Will Travis – Artistic Director / Email: willtravis1@virginmedia.com

Will has been a professional actor since leaving RWCMD (Royal Welsh College) in 1990 and has worked on multiple TV, Theatre and film projects through the years. He started his directing career with A Will And A Way Acting School in 2002. Since then he has directed and produced around 30 different shows.



Elise Williamson – Executive Producer / Email: elisew101@outlook.com

Elise is a professional freelance producer at Stolen Thread Productions CIC and acting tutor, she started producing professionally since 2016 and has since continuously worked alongside The Deal (WCMB), Age UK (North West) and Arts Council England (North West) to begin creating and contributing towards Wigan and Leigh Borough’s arts strategy. If you have any queries regarding artistic events across Leigh, Atherton or Tyldesley and anything you wish to put a play/gig on at The Way Theatre/Studio please feel free to contact Elise on the above email for further information.


Susan McArdle – Front Of House Manager /Email: susanmcardle@gmail.com
Susan McArdle

Susan has been a professional actress since leaving Italia Conti in London in 1992 and has worked on multiple TV, Theatre and film projects through the years too. She currently has strong links with the GMC as a tutor of empathy at Manchester University alongside running The Way theatre/Studio with Will and Elise. If you have any enquiries regarding events please contact Susan McArdle who will deal with any parties, conferences or wedding bookings.



Nick Sayers – Director/Board Member

Nick is part of the board of directors as he has been a long-standing member of the arts community to help bring The Way to fruition. His experience is predominantly in project management of property development for a large firm. He actively helps in the space and helps make key decisions suitable for the business regarding renovation, construction and equipment to go into the space.



Lorraine Pembroke – Director/Board Member

Lorraine has worked alongside the board bringing The Way Theatre/Studio to fruition by actively involving local schools from the Wigan and Leigh Borough. She is the clerk to Governors at School business manager at Chowbent Primary School. She is also the administrator for any board meetings held at The Way Theatre/Studio between Stolen Thread Productions CIC board members.



Jess Eastoe – Director/Board Member

Jess is a strong councillor living in the Wigan and Leigh Borough who actively supports the arts. As a youth worker for Wigan Council she directly involves The Way Theatre/Studio in anything for the community taking part. She has run Wigan Pride events in the past and has a huge input into the support of the LGBT community in Wigan and Leigh. This is something that we all agree on which is the inclusiveness of everybody for participation in the arts no matter what your background.


Andrew Wardle – Director/Board Member

Andrew is the lead Partner at Hayes and Co. accountancy firm in Leigh. He manages our books and assesses that all we do is to support the community in the most efficient way possible.


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Booking The Way Theatre couldn't be easier....

Our programmer and events planner Elise Williamson is on hand to discuss your plans. The space is available for all events from simply holding a birthday party or a wedding to use for a full Theatre booking. We have incredibly competetive rates and also want to help out local community groups getting up and running too, so please do contact us to find out how we can help.

Hourly Rate for Studio Use to Community Groups - £17.50 p/h

If you need to know more then please do contact Elise about your event and she can tailor the package to suit your needs, we will negotiate on price based on your event or situation.

The Way Theatre/Studio is a large Fringe Theatre that seats 120 and 300 standing. PA System and Lighting available. Licensed Bar can be arranged upon booking but as we operate on temporary events licenses currently, this needs to be done 28 days in advance of the event and at a charge of £40.


Stolen Thread Productions CIC – a grass roots, family orientated professional productions company and founders of The Way Theatre/Studio in 2017 championing talent across and throughout Greater Manchester and the North West. Not-for-profit and regulated by CIC Board, Company Number: 10963232.

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